Making an Advance Care Directive or Plan
Why should we plan for our end of life?
I will advocate for you and assist you and your family to feel empowered and supported to achieve your best end of life care plan.
It's interesting that we plan for new life…we ensure we are ready for the new baby with the nursery set up, the car seat installed, baby names picked out and we have a birthing plan! We have lots of supports in place before and afterwards, and we try to leave nothing to chance!
This leads me to ponder why are most of us not good at talking about or planning for our own end of life when we know it is inevitable? Right now, you may be young, or old, healthy, unwell or dying, or you may be caring for someone who is dying or will die. We all hope to live a long and happy life, but sadly some of us may not grow old or may die suddenly.
It can be an uncomfortable thought to have as we have all experienced the loss of a loved one in our lives (or know someone that has) and have felt overwhelmed by the array of emotions, fear, and grief. Some people believe that if we talk about death and dying, we can make it happen earlier which is a widespread myth.
The problem with not planning is that we undoubtedly increase the suffering for those that are most close to us if they do not know our wishes. Conflict, disagreements, and family disputes can happen when end of life planning is left to chance. If we are unable to communicate due to a medical condition or are impacted by a progressive neurologic disorder such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease how will your family know what to do if faced with a difficult decision?
IT'S TIME TO SHARE
Have you ever discussed end of life wishes and preferences?
It’s a tricky conversation to have and time is precious!
We won’t know unless we ask the difficult questions and share our preferences.
Feel empowered and supported
How can an End of Life Doula help?
As an End of Life Doula, I can support you to explore all the options available to you, to have an open discussion, and to develop documents with you such as an Advance Care Directive/Plan which contains your wishes and preferences which can be used to inform your care if you are unable to communicate your wishes due to medical reasons.
I will support you to work out what is right for you and then support you to have conversations with your family, so that they will know your preferences and you can then feel reassured that everything has been taken care of. I will advocate for you and assist you and your family to feel empowered and supported to achieve your best end of life care in line with your values and needs.
- 86% of Australians aged 65 and over do not have an Advance Care Directive or Plan which leaves their own care and what would be right for them if they were sick or at end of life to chance (if unable to communicate your wishes).
- Your Will (if you have one) does not cover your end of life care preferences and is not read until after you die.
- 8 in 10 people say it is important to think and talk about their preferences for care at the end of life but only 1 in 4 people have spoken with their family about their preferences.
- Only 6% of people have spoken with a doctor about their preferences for or against receiving medical interventions that are used to preserve life such as CPR, dialysis, tube feeding and ventilation.
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.Rabindranath Tagore
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.Mahatma Gandhi
Seeing death as the end of the ocean is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.David Searls
When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul laughs for what it has found.Sufi Aphorism
There is love in holding and there is love in letting go.Elizabeth Berg
We’re all just walking each other home.Ram Dass
Perhaps they are not stars but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.Unknown
I love you neither with my heart nor with my mind. My heart might stop. My mind can forget. I love you with my soul because my soul never stops or forgets.Rumi